Young@Heart - Things we want to keep to ourselves

My husband Terry loves to watch professional football and I like to watch it with him, however, I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch every single game throughout the entire season if he didn’t care or wasn’t here. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed learning the rules of the game from him and of course I get a kick out of some of those adorable quarterback bodies in their tight uniforms.

In the beginning I had a couple of terminology misunderstandings cleared up which Terry found particularly amusing. My comment after hearing the announcer exclaim, “So-in-so is a pro bowler,” was, “Wow, imagine being a great football player AND a professional bowler!” Terry explained a pro bowler is a player who is so good he gets to play in the pro bowl (some big deal game once a year). Another time during a game the announcer said, “So-in-so is ‘playing hurt,’” and I said to Terry, “If I were that cry baby’s coach, he’d be off the team before he knew what hit him!!” Of course I learned the player wasn’t “faking being hurt,” but was actually playing with a terrible injury.

Speaking of “playing hurt,” that’s what I’m doing as I write my essay for this week. While on vacation at my bonus daughter’s home in Boston, I fell in the dark on the basement stairs and broke two ribs.

It was a very hot night when I woke up thirsty and sweaty at 3:30 am. I went downstairs to sleep in the basement where it was heavenly cool. I thought I’d maneuvered all the steps and expecting I was through with the decent, I put my body in “level mode,” and took a nice big stride into thin air. I immediately got up and walked around telling myself I was alright. I lay down on the comfy couch and practiced filling my mind with beautiful thoughts. It was so fun to recall the wonderful day before, for it was Saturday, the day of my sold out Happiness is a Habit Retreat. Memories of the happy women who surrounded me as we laughed and learned together made it relatively easy to keep my mind off the pain in that shock stage of the accident. I even managed to fall asleep.

I woke at 7:00 and as I lay there, I thought, ‘Maybe I can manage to get through this without telling anyone I fell.’ I now realize as I’ve grown and learned through this experience, the reason behind that one thought is what was behind the accident in the first place. It’s the idea that I don’t want to bother anyone. I didn’t turn a light on to go from the upstairs bedroom where we slept to the main floor to get a drink of water, nor did I turn a light on to go down to the basement. It was, not wanting to disturb anyone out of sleep by turning on a light that put me in the dark and then not wanting to put anyone out to help an injured person caused the, “don’t tell” thought. Silly me.

I made it up to the third floor and onto the bed while Terry slept peacefully. He woke about 7:30 and by then I knew I had to tell, because, well, I couldn’t move.

In 1963, I broke ribs on my honeymoon when my first husband and I were in a car accident. A car going approximately 60 miles per hour hit our car in the rear end while our car was at a standstill. Because of that experience I knew there is one can do for broken, cracked or bruised ribs, so I didn’t go to the doctor. Again, I didn’t want to bother anyone and besides it was Sunday and we still had three more days of vacation and I didn’t want some doctor telling me I couldn’t still play.

We flew home Tuesday on the wings of Alaska and Ibuprofen and that’s when I really had to practice what I preach about being happy regardless of circumstances. It was an eight hour flight. Wednesday I was in such pain we went to the doctor and that brings me to now. I’m getting better each day and I plan to be back to normal in another three weeks. I’ve learned we must be willing to bother others when it’s appropriate and certainly turning on a light in a strange house is appropriate and getting help when we are injured is too. Nice lesson.

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